Head Size: 100 sq. in.
Length: 27 in.
Weight: 11.2 oz.
Balance: 4 pts. HL
RA Rating: 67
Beam Width: 23mm / 26mm / 23mm
String Pattern: 16x19
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Racquet Review: Dunlop SX 300
The update takes the frame's spin potential to another level.
Published Mar 20, 2022
Spin is a valuable commodity on a tennis court. At its base function it provides a measure of safety and control to shots to maintain consistency. Which is fine and dandy, but nobody strives for basic. Exceptional is the more aspirational goal, and that means spin-laden strokes that create heavy, formidable shots. To do that, proper technique is required, but it doesn’t hurt to have a racquet that’s a willing accomplice.
Exhibit A being the Dunlop SX 300. The racquet has always been well-suited for this task, and this latest model takes its rpm potential to another level. When compared to the prior generation, the Spin Boost shaped grommets are on more of the main strings of the update, which allow for more varied and expansive movement. The string spacing has also been widened to help create more spin, a higher launch angle, bigger sweet spot and easier depth on off-center hits.
Throughout my test with racquet the word I kept coming back to was lively. Ground strokes had tons of jump and bounded through the court causing havoc. Power was more prevalent than control, but it wasn’t an issue maintaining respectable consistency. It was the type of racquet that invited the user to take space behind the baseline and go to work bullying opponents with a barrage of inside-out forehands, or grind away with high, looping groundies. If a short ball should result, the frame had ample put-away skills.
Flattening out shots was more of a challenge, but as long as the ball was struck relatively cleanly and out in front, targeting was respectable. Problems were most glaring in situations such as catching a return of a hard serve late—if I didn’t hit it just right, missing the chance to impart enough control spin often ended up in a flier. Otherwise it was a pretty dependable returner, and capable of being abusive to anything soft.
Serving was probably my favorite portion of the test. It was one of those frames that naturally delivered extra zip to deliveries without extra effort. Yet, much like ground strokes, its ability to impart spin really raised its status, making slice serves curve like a wiffleball. Spotting the serves wasn’t radar-controlled, but it was in the neighborhood often enough. Whether going big or trying to bend the ball up or away from my opponent, it was highly effective starting points on my terms.
Throughout my test with racquet the word I kept coming back to was lively. Ground strokes had tons of jump and bounded through the court causing havoc.
While this made it a natural serve +1 complement, it was trickier to get fancy with the racquet. Things would often go sideways when I tried more delicate shots. The ball just wanted to jump off the string bed making it challenging to impart distance control. I attempted a few drop volleys that could’ve had flight attendants. But that’s the price you pay for a racquet like this. It’s a little like blaming the beach for being so sandy.
Creativity was more fruitful with longer swings that took advantage of the racquet’s proclivity for spin. Dipping shots at the feet, rolling angles or lofting a topspin lob were all effective avenues to some off-speed offense. Yet, when presented with a target at net, it was never a bad play to unleash a heavy drive and dare an opponent to volley it.
The relative lack of versatility also meant that net play was somewhat basic. Volleying with the SX 300 wasn’t as satisfying as backcourt play, but nothing approaching a glaring deficiency. It was a meat-and-potatoes stick at net— pick a big target, get the frame out in front and let it do the heavy lifting. Time for an overhead? Blast away. The balance created a solid backbone given the frame’s weight class, as it was mostly steady and sturdy, even on off-center hits; although more advanced players may want more mass to defend against higher ball speeds.
Taking the Dunlop SX 300 out for a spin is an accurate description. It produces shots with lots of action and energy. Fans of these types of frames should find it right in their wheelhouse. It’s not the most precise racquet going, and may fall short for some in the feel department, but that’s often the cost for the extra boost. If you find power in spin, the SX 300 may take your game from basic to exceptional.